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Monday, December 11, 2023 | Back issues
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Paranoia Runs Deep

What would we do without the Internet?

Probably quite a bit but that hasn't stopped people from worrying about the prospect. There are, after all, people somewhere who will worry about any prospect.

There's a group called The SaveTheInternet.com Coalition that's worried that politicians might turn the Internet off. This is from their website:

"Congress is weighing legislation that could give the president the authority to flip the 'kill switch' on our Internet, just as the Egyptian regime did earlier this week to quell free speech, online organizing and political dissent."

And we all saw how much political dissent was quelled in Egypt.

Now imagine what would happen to a U. S. politician who shut down the Internet. The porn constituency alone would be enough to topple the government.

Of course, at least as far as I can tell, the proposed legislation would only allow the shutting down of the Internet (if such a thing is even possible) in case of some sort of crisis or cyber attack. No one on the Battlestar Galactica complained when its computer system was isolated from the Cylons. Such a thing can be prudent.

But if you take the paranoid point of view - not necessarily an unreasonable view considering the Patriot Act - I suppose the "crisis" being shut down could be some sort of popular uprising.

So what would uprisers do without the Internet?

Well, there'd still be Access Hollywood, TMZ, and strip clubs....

MORE PARANOIA. Some things are best left alone.

Check out a Sixth U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling called American Civil Liberties Union v. Deweese in which the ACLU successfully got an order requiring a judge in Ohio to take down a poster.

The poster, hung in his courtroom, was, essentially, a rant on the superiority of the Ten Commandments to a list of "moral relatives" (apparently not including grandmothers and maiden aunts).

This was a judge ready to sentence anyone doing any serious coveting or Sabbath forgetting. Imagine local law enforcement rounding up suspects for those offenses.

So is this a victory for the ACLU?

Consider what would happen if the judge got a controversial case and the poster was still there. All a lawyer has to do is point at the poster and ask for a disqualification.

Now don't you wish there were certain justices on the U. S. Supreme Court hanging posters?

It's best not to hide things.

STILL MORE PARANOIA. And then there was this from the first paragraph of a press release issued last week by Covenant House:

"Dallas police predict the Super Bowl could attract between 50,000 and 100,000 prostitutes."

Yes, every fan in attendance can have a prostitute to enjoy if the game gets boring.

If you noticed stretches of silence during the game, now you know what happened.

EVEN MORE PARANOIA. You may find this hard to believe, but U. S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a conservative.

We know this now because of a recent mini-brouhaha over Thomas not disclosing that his wife got paid by The Heritage Foundation.

There's an aspect to this controversy you may not have heard about. A self-proclaimed watchdog group called ProtectOurElections.org issued a press release revealing that an amended disclosure filing by Thomas that contained the financial information about his wife was accepted on a Saturday by the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Said the release:

"The receptionist who answered confirmed that the Financial Disclosure office, like most federal offices, is closed for public business on Saturday. No one else at the office would explain whether Justice Thomas received special treatment by being allowed to file his amendments when the office was closed."

Apparently there's a secret plot to work on weekends.

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